Borderlands is a weekly rundown of developments in the world of United States-Mexico cross-border trucking and trade. This week: KCS announces a new cross-border rail-served logistics facility; New York Air Brake to open plant in Mexico; Skydropx to expand across Latin America with $20M Series A funding; and CBP seizes $48M in methamphetamine from tractor trailer.
KCS announces new cross-border rail-served logistics facility in Querétaro
Kansas City Southern (KCS) announced it is developing a vehicle distribution center in Mexico that aims to speed up multimodal cross-border deliveries of finished vehicles across North America.
The Central Bajío Vehicle Distribution Center (VDC) will be located about 25 miles east of the city of Querétaro, in the central Bajío region, home to the largest concentration of automakers and parts suppliers in the country.
“Development of the Central Bajío VDC adds velocity, capacity and markets,” said Rodrigo Flores, KCS vice president of automotive and intermodal. “One goal is to speed the turnaround for multi-level rail cars making a round trip between the U.S. and Mexico, improving the availability of rail cars in the region.”
Unloading rail cars at the Central Bajío VDC would add capacity and reduce congestion in the Bajío region, Flores said.
The Central Bajío VDC will be located on 125 acres, with up to 57 acres available for finished vehicles. The facility will initially include 1,000 vehicle bays and capacity for 36 railcars.
The VDC could eventually include up to 6,500 vehicle bays, capacity for 134 railcars, with 60 unloading positions, and storage for up to 10,000 vehicles. It will also include unit train service and direct truck access between Mexico City, Guadalajara and the Bajío region.
“The VDC also improves access to and from some of the most important markets in Mexico,” added Flores. “It’s the perfect destination for inland port moves of imported automobiles into Mexico.”
KCS is partnering with Suministros Industriales Potosinos SA de CV (SIPSA) and TransDevelopment Group (TDG) to develop the Central Bajío VDC. It will be developed, owned and operated by SIPSA and TDG.
“We see strong potential in the Bajío for finished vehicles,” said Xavier Zermeño, SIPSA’s managing director. “At our existing facility in Comonfort, we handle inbound parts for assembly plants through our cross docks and general cargo tracks. This terminal is a natural location to increase our capabilities to include finished vehicles, right in the heart of automobile production in Mexico.”
New York Air Brake to open plant in Mexico
New York Air Brake Corp., a manufacturer of air brake and train control systems for the global railroad industry, announced it will open a new manufacturing operation in Acuña, Mexico.
The facility is part of its restructuring strategy for its North American manufacturing operations. As part of the restructuring, the company is laying off 125 workers out of 400 at its Watertown, New York plant, and shifting production to three other U.S. locations.
The plant in Acuña will begin production by the end of the year, hiring up to 350 people. Acuña is located along the U.S.-Mexico border, just across the Rio Grande River from Del Rio, Texas.
Skydropx to expand across Latin America with $20M Series A funding
Mexico City-based Skydropx, a logistics management platform, announced it has raised a Series A investment round of $20 million.
The funding will allow Skydropx to expand to other Latin American countries where e-commerce is growing, including Colombia, Argentina, Chile and Peru.
The Series A round was led by Base10 Partners, Cometa, and 645 Ventures. The company has raised $27 million since it was founded in 2014 by Tavo Zambrano, Armando Solbes, Óscar Victorín and Daniel Alvarado.
Skydropx, through its logistics management system, manages and regulates shipments for e-commerce digital stores. The company said it currently has more than 30,000 clients.
CBP seizes $48M in methamphetamine from tractor trailer
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers in Brownsville, Texas, intercepted a load of methamphetamine, hidden inside a commercial truck.
The case happened Oct. 22 when CBP officers at the Veterans Memorial Bridge stopped a truck driving Mexican citizen who was applying for entry into the U.S.
CBP officers discovered 62 buckets hidden inside the vehicle, which contained a total of 2,445 pounds of methamphetamine. The estimated street value of the alleged narcotics is $48.8 million.
Officers seized the narcotics and vehicle, and arrested the driver. The case was turned over to Homeland Security Investigations.
More articles by Noi Mahoney